AuthorCarlien Scheele
ProfessionDirector, European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE)
3Intimate partner violence and witness intervention: what are the deciding factors?
Women face the greatest danger from people
they know. In the EU, more than a fifth of women
have been physically or sexually abused by a cur-
rent or former partner. This report provides new
evidence on factors which encourage witnesses
of intimate par tner violence to intervene and
provides recommendations on what the EU and
Member States can do to better protect vic tims.
Many witnesses to intimate partner violence
want to help. In some Member States, up to 30 %
of calls to domestic violence helplines come from
witnesses. Yet negative perceptions of the author-
ities, fear for their own safet y, a lack of access to
support services and a common misconception
that intimate partner violence is a private matter
can prevent witnesses from acting.
EU Member States need to raise awareness on
intimate partner violence and provide informa-
tion on how witnesses can best assist victims.
Professionals working in the health and social
sector need clear guidance on their obligation
to report violence. Police and justice authorities
need to protect both victims and witnesses.
The EU Victims Rights Directive is a legal obliga-
tion for EU Member States and outlines standard
requirements to support victims and witnesses
of crime. The Ist anbul Convention is the gold
standard for protecting victims and witnesses of
intimate partner violence and should be ratified
by all Member States. The EU must adopt equiv-
alent measures should EU-wide accession con-
tinue to face challenges.
The private sphere, and in particular the home,
cannot continue to be the most dangerous place
for a woman. Spikes in domestic violence reports
during the COVID-19 pandemic have increased the
urgency for action: further lockdowns could put
many at risk. Friends, family, neighbours, co-work-
ers and professionals can help victims of intimate
partner violence. This report shows how the EU
and its Member States can ensure witnesses have
the right information and resources to do so.
Carlien Scheele,
Di re c to r,
European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE)

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT